Bulgarian nationality law

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Bulgarian Citizenship Act
Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg
Parliament of Bulgaria
An Act relating to Bulgarian citizenship
Enacted by Government of Bulgaria
Status: Current legislation
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Bulgarian citizens

Bulgarian nationality law is governed by the Constitution of Bulgaria (article 25 and 26) of 1991 and the citizenship law of 1999 (with changes made in various years through to 2009).[1]

It is mainly based on jus sanguinis; however, it is possible to obtain citizenship after 5 years of residence in Bulgaria.[2] Naturalisation is available on the basis of residence in certain types of status; marriage or on the basis of origin or at the discretion of the government of Bulgaria to persons of merit. The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice is in charge of processing citizenship applications.

Every Bulgarian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union.

Acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship

Bulgarian citizenship can be acquired in the following ways:

  1. Jus sanguinis: By descent if at least one of the parents is a Bulgarian citizen
  2. Jus soli: By birth in Bulgaria (unless citizenship of another country has been acquired by descent), or a child found in Bulgaria whose parents are unknown
  3. By naturalisation

Dual citizenship

Bulgaria allows its citizens to hold foreign citizenship in addition to their Bulgarian citizenship. Some countries, however, do not permit multiple citizenship e.g. adults who acquired Bulgarian and Japanese citizenship by birth must declare, to the latter's Ministry of Justice, before turning 22, which citizenship they want to keep.

Citizenship of the European Union

Because Bulgaria forms part of the European Union, Bulgarian citizens are also citizens of the European Union under European Union law and thus enjoy rights of free movement and have the right to vote in elections for the European Parliament.[3] When in a non-EU country where there is no Bulgarian embassy, Bulgarian citizens have the right to get consular protection from the embassy of any other EU country present in that country.[4][5] Bulgarian citizens can live and work in any country within the EU as a result of the right of free movement and residence granted in Article 21 of the EU Treaty.[6]

Travel freedom of Bulgarian citizens

Visa requirements for Bulgarian citizens
  Freedom of movement
  Visa not required
  Visa on arrival
  Visa available both on arrival or online
  Visa required prior to arrival

Visa requirements for Bulgarian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Bulgaria. In 2015, Bulgarian citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 150 countries and territories, ranking the Bulgarian passport 18th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.

In 2017, the Bulgarian nationality is ranked twenty-sixth in the Nationality Index (QNI). This index differs from the Visa Restrictions Index, which focuses on external factors including travel freedom. The QNI considers, in addition to travel freedom, on internal factors such as peace & stability, economic strength, and human development as well. [7]

See also


  1. ^ "Bulgarian Citizenship Act". Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, London. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Чуждите, които искат да са наши". CETA. Retrieved 18 July 2012. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Bulgaria". European Union. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  4. ^ Article 20(2)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  5. ^ Rights abroad: Right to consular protection: a right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of other Member States when in a non-EU Member State, if there are no diplomatic or consular authorities from the citizen's own state (Article 23): this is due to the fact that not all member states maintain embassies in every country in the world (14 countries have only one embassy from an EU state). Antigua and Barbuda (UK), Barbados (UK), Belize (UK), Central African Republic (France), Comoros (France), Gambia (UK), Guyana (UK), Liberia (Germany), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (UK), San Marino (Italy), São Tomé and Príncipe (Portugal), Solomon Islands (UK), Timor-Leste (Portugal), Vanuatu (France)
  6. ^ "Treaty on the Function of the European Union (consolidated version)" (PDF). Eur-lex.europa.eu. Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  7. ^ "The 41 nationalities with the best quality of life". www.businessinsider.de. 2016-02-06. Retrieved 2018-09-10.

External links

  • Ministry of Justice
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